Now, Emily Dickinson got it “awfully” and apparently several times. But, from this trauma a lot of beautiful, thoughtful poetry ensued. Let me illustrate:
He fumbles at your Soul
As Players at the Keys
Before they drop full Music on —
He stuns you by degrees —
Prepares your brittle Nature
For the Ethereal Blow
By fainter Hammers — further heard —
Then nearer — Then so slow
Your Breath has time to straighten —
Your Brain — to bubble Cool —
Deals — One — imperial — Thunderbolt —
That scalps your naked Soul —
When Winds take Forests in the Paws —
The Universe — is still –
Now most of us do not get it so “awfully.” Neurologically we’re are wired so that at worst we deal with garden variety anxiety and depression. But there are those who get their “naked soul” scalped. In modern times, there is Eckhart Tolle. And, even Byron Katie. And then there is the Apostle Paul in biblical times.
A tale of grace spoken of in an earlier blog about the contemporary poetry and memoirs of Mary Karr. Particularly in Lit, she eloquently and passionately describes her difficult childhood, her abuse, her abuse of alcohol and drugs, and a difficult marriage. Substance abuse was the arena in which she wrestled with God most intensely, fighting tooth-and-toenail to resist God’s grace. And prayer was the most difficult phase of this “wrestling” with God.
Now I can’t describe this as an example of someone having “their naked soul scalped”. But it was not the aforementioned garden-variety neurosis and depression.